According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the demand for criminal justice and security professionals is greater than ever before.1 Qualified individuals continue to be needed to lead, educate, and motivate these professionals.

Make a greater impact within your organization and your field with Walden’s online PhD in Criminal Justice, one of the first online criminal justice doctoral programs available to meet the needs of working professionals. You can attain a new level of credibility and influence with an online PhD in Criminal Justice.

Whether you want to pursue leadership roles within the field or begin a career in criminal justice education, our criminal justice PhD program can give you the skills and knowledge you need to embrace exciting new career opportunities.

In this online program, you’ll explore contemporary theory and practice as well as national and international issues in the administration of criminal justice. Taught by seasoned doctoral-level faculty with practical experience in the field, coursework spans topics such as risk factors for criminal behavior, leadership theory, human services, technology and law enforcement, homeland security, and public management. Walden’s online PhD in Criminal Justice gives you the opportunity to integrate scholarly research with your experience to create effective solutions to real-world problems.

Four academic residencies that support your progress at key points in your doctoral journey. Residencies are designed to enhance both your development as a scholar-practitioner and your ability to effect positive social change.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of this program, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the root causes of crime and its impact on criminal justice policies, practices, and procedures.
  2. Evaluate philosophies on managing human resources in criminal justice organizations. 
  3. Synthesize theory and research on the historical trends and current perspectives in criminal justice.
  4. Apply data analysis techniques and research design methods to scholarly research in criminal justice.
  5. Evaluate the role of the criminal justice system in advancing social justice and positive social change. 

Career Impact

The turbulent times we live in have necessitated a nationwide focus on criminal justice, emergency management, and public safety. Whether you aspire to lead in the workplace or the classroom, Walden’s PhD in Criminal Justice can prepare you with the skills and knowledge needed to advance in your profession.

According to the employment website Indeed, the number of job postings related to the PhD in Criminal Justice has increased 200% over the past five years.2

With a General Program and six specializations to choose from, Walden’s PhD in Criminal Justice can help prepare you for a variety of positions, including:

  • Professor/instructor
  • Government contractor
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Research consultant
  • Consultant to law enforcement agency
  • City administrator
  • Police captain
  • Bureau chief
  • Corrections facility director
  • Warden
  • Police chief
  • Private investigator
  • Probation or parole officer
  • Corrections specialist, supervisor, or officer
  • Criminal investigator
  • Sheriff, deputy, or patrol officer
  • Director of homeland security
  • Director of emergency management
  • Senior criminal justice associate

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Save Time and Money on Your Degree

  • You can automatically reduce your required PhD in Criminal Justice credits and coursework if you have completed your Master of Science in Criminal Justice or a related degree. Reducing required credits in your program will make your education more affordable.
  • You can also complete your required PhD in Criminal Justice coursework sooner by transferring your applicable credits.
  • Choose the Fast Track Option, if eligible, and earn your degree more quickly by taking additional courses per term.


Don Reed

Donald J. Reed

PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
Walden was a natural choice for me due to its method of instruction; it is conducive to professionals looking to earn an advanced degree.
In the hour I spent talking with Walden’s admissions advisor, I completely changed my career ambition. To this day, I am still on that path.
Walden University is an opportunity for those of us who began pursuing higher education later in life.
Michael Schenck PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
Michael Schenck
Seth Barnett MPA Graduate
Seth Barnett
Thomas Schillinger PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
Thomas Schillinger

1U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “FY 2014 Budget in Brief,” on the internet at (viewed online March 11, 2014)., “Criminal Justice PhD Job Trends,” on the Internet at  (viewed online December 16, 2013).

Note on Licensure
Walden’s PhD in Criminal Justice program is not considered a Professional Peace Officer Education Program for the state of Minnesota, and is not designed or intended to prepare graduates for licensure as a peace officer, police officer or other law enforcement officer in any state.

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.

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Questions about our PhD in Criminal Justice ?
Questions about our PhD in Criminal Justice ?
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